end of december brain fizz:


i haven’t been writing in here lately due to the possession of thoughts too dumb for public viewing. but we all have them, don’t we? just today i realized that the security guards at my temporary residence must think i’m a total slut. the only people that ever drop me off or pick me up or are seen with me are men. ohhh, if only they knew the truth, but this is ecuador and only one option is considered. whatever, i could really care less what these base-ball-cap-and-shiny-chain obsessed men think of me… anyways, it might explain some of their peculiar behaviors…like today the younger one stopped me and asked me a few dumb questions about my age (AGAIN, how bad is his memory?) and how good my spanish was and if i was single (i need to start lying when i get asked that). and then when i walked away he gave me this sad look and said “no quiere conversar?” NO. but i was polite as usual and told him i had a lunch date with a friend, which was true, but i had plenty of free time. one more week in this ant-infested armpit of a casa and then i’m on my own. (lunch turned into dulces tres leches and coconut cake which i said i would NOT eat, but oh well, it’s too late now. it was a special occasion, wasn’t it? i’ll be able to run again, soon…)

one more week till i fly home, as well, but for some reason i don’t really think about it much. people always ask if i’m excited to go home, and i nod of course, but the truth is i don’t feel much of anything. i want to see my sisters, run my hands over the stacks of beautiful books i left behind, feel the cold…but, my feelings of excitement are restrained, somehow. i think, in some ways it will be difficult, to come and go so quickly, to have so briefly access to things and people i miss.

so here i am, in 95 degree weather, eating a a sliver of chocolate from esmereldas wrapped in a foamy piece of “wheat” bread from one of those economy loaves at the grocery store. i’ll be taking lots of portraits when i’m home, and behaving especially badly, because, why the hell not? alright…off to correct the twenty written final tests i assigned in photo class this morning, why i asked them to write so much, i can’t remember.


last night sophie and i drank boxed wine in a parking lot outside of a pizza parlor in urdesa. we also ate some chocolate amor wafers. then we went in for pizza with several friends, and continued to drink our $2.00 boxed wine out of the paper coca-cola cups they gave us for…the cola. needless to say i was very soon trashed and sliding around in the booth and shouting inappropriate things to which césar said: “i’m worried you’re going to get addicted.” to what, i shall leave to your imagination.


PS: why i miss emily:

email—-> subject: MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS

“hey darling,

don’t you love the subject of my email? i heard my boss say this today and it struck me as very funny. up until today i thought only snoop dogg could get away with such an expression, but i have been proven wrong! i drank too much wine when i got home and now i am having a bit of an issue with typing.

so i have been researching two russian bars. they are across the street from one another. eachother. whichever. one is called samovar, and the other is the russian vodka room. both make their own infused vodkas, which according to my research are quite deadly because they do not taste like vodka. for instance, the cranberry infused is supposed to taste just like cranberry juice. plus apparently the russians typically order their vodka by the CARAFE, which seems to me like it would be a good 10 shots. i don’t know how much that would cost, but it seems like a recipe for trouble and record amounts of vomit. so we can try those places, except maybe around happy hour when it will be a bit busier and we can blend in a bit and not be molested by 65 year old russian mobsters.”


the trouble with tongues: is that i’m obsessed with language, beautiful language specifically. tonight, while helping a student write song lyrics into the background of her portrait, i became terribly depressed about my spanish. i had her say out loud each word in the sequence so we could figure out how much we could fit on each line, “what’s the next word?” i’d ask. and every word she said, she said so…perfectly, with such clarity and ease and fluidity. it made me want to cry. even if i speak spanish everyday for the next 66 years (i’ve got to live till i’m at least 91), i will never sound like her. english is my native language and there certainly is no changing that. of course, i do love english at times, but you know, i’ve spoken it my whole life and i’m used to it, no allure exists within the words and phrases and conjunctions and meandering, useless sentences like this one.

leave it to me to sit around and be wistful about something like this, something completely unalterable and largely unimportant. but i hate the idea that i will forever make mistakes so long as i speak another language. i often find myself trying to deny the idea that i’m a perfectionist, but i am. it’s already stunted my growth as both an artist and a writer and i’m doing my best to not allow it to prevent me from improving my spanish. i have to let go of my obsession with being perfect, and it’s so strange because there are so many things i’m happy to fuck up, but when it matters to me i become afraid. i often find myself giving advice to my students, especially the girl above, that i should listen to myself. “oh, cristina, don’t worry about making a mistake. we can always paint over it if needed, mistakes are how we learn!” or “oh, don’t worry if you ruin it, that’s what practice is for, to ruin things. you will get better.” i could just laugh. i sit here and think of all the abandoned canvases in my bedroom at home, the sketches ripped to shreds before they were finished, thanks to one little mistake, one err outside of perfection. what a waste of talent. i need to change.


too many goodbyes to count lately, i’m not much of a fan but i really have no choice in the matter. goodbyes happen. at least the piñata gave me a nice shiny plastic ring to wear around. i can pretend i’m 7 again. red nails. jello shots. sparklers. inflated condoms. these were our final hours. delightfully spent.

i rode on the back of gabe’s motorcycle again. all the way from samborondón to la garzota. over la puenta and through the mob of buses racing eachother out of the terminal. he didn’t have a helmet so i went without, my hair blowing itself into clusters of knots. i know its stupid and dangerous but it always feels so lovely, so quintessential and centering. i am here.

(but soon, i’ll be there.) i’m more or less excited. there is always a certain amount of guilt associated with going home. i’ve been able to carefully avoid it while here, for the first time…ever. it’s a long, and rather dull story, perhaps for another time. besides, this big clunky ring is making it difficult to type. kisses.


…i perform squirms of
chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am
becoming something a little different, in fact

~ ee cummings

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